Comparing Tactical Behaviours of Youth Soccer Teams Through the Test “GK3-3GK”


This study aimed to compare the tactical behaviours performed by youth soccer players from four different age groups, using the “GK3-3GK test”. For such a purpose, 52 players (16 Under-11s, 12 Under-13s, 12 Under-15s and 12 Under-19s) from four Portuguese teams have been analyzed. These players performed 2853 tactical actions. It was carried out descriptive analysis, Kolmogorov-Smirnov, Chi-square and Kappa de Cohen. The results point up significant statistical differences between the youth teams for tactical actions performed according to game principles and place of action (p≤0.05).

Statistical differences were found on the “Defensive Unity” between Under-11 and Under-13 players (p=0.03). Another differences can be seen regarding the principles of “Penetration”, “Defensive Coverage” and “Balance”, between Under- 15 and Under-19 (p=0.00). It is also possible to assert that Under-19 players show of the highest time of ball possession and Under-13 players were placed many times behind the line of the ball while they are attacking. In conclusion, it is stated that tactical behaviours performed by soccer players are different, concerning players' age. Thus, it is recommendable that the coach should have great knowledge and evaluation about abilities and difficulties of each player to improve them with the training process.

Keywords: Tactical behaviours, game principles, soccer.